So I came across and on episode of globetrecker, the one on Vietnam. A the end of the episode, the guide stays on a Junk boat and tours Halong Bay. Since I'm going there, I figure I would do the same. Has anyone done this before? What's it like?
I've checked on-line, and can find mainly ones that cost $100 US. Does anyone know and cheaper places?
Also, most of these boats don't seem like the traditional ones. They are more like modern boats with fake sails on them. Anyone know of much more classic ones?
I just went on a boat in Feb - booked from the agency in my hotel. I think for one night and two days I paid about $35 US. However, there were RATS on my boat - they came out in full force at night. Thankfully not in the rooms, but we could hear them. Ech.
The best tours are run by handspan. Everyone I met recommends them, they are more expensive but worth it I think. I couldn't get on their tour because it was sold out. Google them because they have a website and you can pre-book. Their office is located in Hanoi.
You can organise a boat trip around Halong Bay from Hanoi. If you can get together with a few other travellers you'll be able to get a better deal. I think I ended up paying around 35-40 US dollars for a three day trip - one night on board and one night staying on Cat Ba Island. The boat was a large junk style thing - no sails just the motor but very nice all the same.
We all ended up staying an extra day in Halong Bay we loved it so much and organised with the company we went with to go back with them to Hanoi the following day.
We found a local family on Cat Ba and chartered their boat for the day - they took us around some amazing islands and beaches and laid on the most enourmous seafood lunch - all for around 10 dollars.
halong bay really is beautiful - you just have to be a bit lucky with the weather!
Rats.. humm.. I guess I wouldn't mind dishing out a little extra for an anti-rat boat.
I done one of these trips in September. Paid about 37 dollars, that was with transport from Hanoi, 2 days and 1 night staying on a junk-type boat anchored overnight in Halong Bay. This was a motor boat too, no sails, and no rats. It was a great couple of days and Halong Bay is a must see.
Do you remember which tour group you went with, or if you had heard of a better one?
Sorry, i really cant' remember. I think they are all pretty similar though. After chatting to a few people who had done the same thing with different companies/boats we all paid a similar price and had no complaints.